Friday, June 23, 2006

Cough = Cancer ?!?!?!?

I have had this cough for 8 or 10 months now and I have tried to treat it with antibiotics from the Dr. I just didn't have any luck with treating it and then it would get a little better and go away and come back and anyway, finally my Mom and my husband insisted I go in and ask for a chest x-ray, that was last week, I think, Wednesday. That came back with a big cloudy spot on my left lung lobe and so the Dr. Set up an appointment for a CT scan.
The scan was on Monday and on Wednesday I had my first appointment with the Rhuematoid Dr., which was also set up by my GP. Our meeting was brief and frankly cold. She finally asked me, "did you bring anyone with you?" "No", I replied. Then she sort of mumbled and fumbled for a pen and paper. She asked me if I had an appointment with my GP soon, "no" I answered. "This really isn't my place," she started. "I have a copy of your scan and it is disturbing....." So that is pretty much how I found out that I have a mass of lymph nodules under my left collar bone and several pulmonary lesions and some lymph node swelling, there were also some cavitary nodules that will need to be biopsied. It was absurd and hardly believable, especially since she wouldn't let me see the scans or anything. She phoned my GP and he explained everything, although the outcome was not any better. I phoned my husband and told him. He was shocked as well. He took off the next day of work to sit in the waiting room with me at the oncology center.
Well, after the longest waiting room visit in my life we found out that they are 99% sure it is cancer. It is malignant and probably Hodgkin's or some other kind of lymphoma. I scheduled a PET scan for Friday and a surgical biopsy consultation for Monday.

I got to see the pictures of my lungs and there is a 15 mm mass right under my left clavicle. It is HUGE. There is also a hole down further in my lung on the same side, they are not sure what that is, but promised me we would deal with it later on.

I guess the mass will be biopsy'd and then we will know a lot more.

The most important thing is the mass and I went in for a PET scan today (to see if there are any more masses in my pelvis or armpits, any where there is a lymph node) and I have a surgical consult for a biopsy on Monday and an appointment with the pulmonary people in my husband's department. We met with the head of the Oncology Dept. Dr. Keppen and he feels very strongly that it is lymphoma. All of my lymph nodes are inflamed. At this point the one in my lung is the only one we know of that may be cancerous. Of course there is no way to tell for sure without the biopsy. It may be Hodgkin's lymphoma. But, they need to get in there and take a pretty big chunk of it so they can take it to the lab. It is directly under my collar bone and pushes up against my windpipe and makes it difficult to breathe, and forces me to cough.
We are in shock and I haven't really talked to any one in person besides family, thank God for email. No one could understand my words in between sobs.
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